The Bulletin: Renting in the city will never be the same again [Issue #65]

The Bulletin is a collection of what's happened, what’s happening, and what’s to come in and around Montreal.

The Main

The Main

February 22, 2024- Read time: 8 min
The Bulletin: Renting in the city will never be the same again [Issue #65]795-800 rue Saint-Martin; houses expropriated as part of the urban renewal programme in Little Burgundy back in July 1967. | Photograph: Archives de la Ville de Montréal

We're pouring one out for the old ways today.

Ripping off the band-aid of bad news, the dreaded Bill 31's gone through: As the housing crisis has priced tenants out of the market where a one-bedroom apartment now can cost over $1,700 a month, the generally lower costs that come from lease transfers are now effectively over as we knew them.

We've known and lived in so many great apartments in our time in this city, fabled spots where the rent was so low they seemed impossible. Grand palaces once went for a song, and we're definitely not the only ones who'll miss these places that will be little more than stories we can tell our kids in time.

But all things change, as they do, even if we don't want them to.

Suppose we'll go bury our sorrows it an absolutely packed weekend of fancy dinners, new art exhibitions, live music, pop-ups and punk shows—at least Bill 31 didn't ruin that for us.

Yet. 👀

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Activities, parties, points of interest, art exhibitions, you name it: These are the weekend events you don't want to miss.


  • Montréal en Lumière, one of the largest winter festivals in the world, is slowly but most definitely underway, starting with live music and dining options.
  • Saint-Denis has a new event called Conte(mporain), a winter initiative in which contemporary urban art blends with the world of traditional storytelling.


  • With a career spanning over 30 years, time's running out to see JOUEZ/PLAY by Rirkrit Tiravanija, including his very first work in augmented reality and more at the Phi Centre.
  • Organized by the San Diego Museum of Art, a new exhibition at the MMFA creates a dialogue between the work of Georgia O’Keeffe and Henry Moore.


  • Montréal Boréal festival continues, and this weekend features nordic disco, woodsmen demos, and food from local restaurants—all kinds of cold-weather culture in the neighbourhoods along the Lachine Canal.
  • The Montréal Ice Canoe Challenge is launching off the shores of the St. Lawrence with ice canoes slicing through its frigid waters as fast as they'll go. Races start at 12:30 PM in the Old Port.


  • Canada’s largest indoor immersive attraction to date, OASIS Immersion, has a new iteration in collaboration with National Geographic entitled Root for Nature.
  • How about ending the weekend with a super punk show at the TraXide, an underground venue at the Fattal Lofts? If you need to know where to go while you're there, just ask a punk.

Okeya Kyujiro has opened Galeries d'Okeya, a boutique offering Japanese crafts and products alongside takeout style sushi combos. | Photograph: @julie_theory / Instagram


Scope the latest restaurant openings, recommendations on where to eat, plus new menus, old classics, and everything in between.

  • Saint-Henri is now the home of EERA Cafe Gallery, where the fragrant rice and tender meats enhanced with herbs, fruits, and nuts of Iranian cuisine are on offer.
  • OSMO x Marusan is hosting HAVE YOU EATEN, a special pop-up event with @mollygum_ to celebrate the Lantern Festival with dishes inspired by journeys to the Asian mainland.
  • Okeya Kyujiro has opened Galeries d'Okeya, a boutique offering Japanese crafts and products alongside takeout style sushi combos.
  • Maps, a new pizza spot in Villeray, has just opened chill vibes along long tables; having softly opened, booze has yet to be added to menu, but the food's on point (no pun intended).
  • Have you visited Café Saint-Henri's latest opening designed in collaboration with Allied and Moment Factory at 1001 Robert-Bourrassa near downtown’s Gare Centrale?
  • Vinorama is hosting a snack-sized pasta pop-up with plenty of delish wines flowing by the glass and jars of sauce up for grabs.
  • A Tunisian-inspired pizzeria, Focaccia, has just opened in the Plateau with long, Neapolitan-style pies with all-halal toppings.
  • Fugazzi is hungry for customers, so much so that they've created a $19 three-course menu including a salad, pizza or pasta, and cannoli for dessert.
  • On Sunday, Feb 25, Mike Chanth will take over the kitchen at Boxermans for the evening with a savoury-sweet-spicy a la carte menu.
  • Bistro La Franquette's hosting a pop-up with @thomasechisholm of the Paris restaurant ChoCho on Saturday, and another dinner event with Nolan on Sunday.

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Here, you'll find a weekly round-up of the latest local news, from entertainment to current affairs and more.

"New year, new you" mentalities can begin at any time

Montreal's self-care scene and wellness landscape is experiencing a transformative shift, and it's driven by locals. Grown from grassroots and driving down-to-earth entrepreneurial ventures, the following people are helping redefine conventional norms of products that go from body care and candles to hair care and cosmetics. (The Main)

Locals changing the self-care game in Montreal
“New year, new you” mentalities can begin at any time—and these Montreal-based self-care creators can prove it with the work they’re passionate about.

The end of an essential era

Quebec's controversial housing bill became law yesterday, and housing advocates say lease transfers are now essentially dead, ending what was a way to pass on low rents to others and ensure that landlords couldn't hike rents between tenants. (CBC Montreal)

No more lease transfers? Here’s what’s in Quebec’s new housing law | CBC News
Quebec’s housing minister pitched the new law as a way to “re-establish balance between renters and landlords and increase housing supply.” Advocates worry it will make things worse for tenants by making it easier for landlords to refuse lease transfers.

You know, if you want to relive the disappointment!

Netflix has picked up a documentary about the Montreal Expos and the events surrounding the team’s departure in 2004, exploring the setbacks around it and how our city's loss continues to spark debate 20 years later. (Variety)

Netflix Orders Baseball Doc on the Montreal Expos’ Controversial 2004 Exit From Canada (EXCLUSIVE)
Netflix has picked up an untitled documentary about the Montreal Expos and the events surrounding the Major League Baseball team’s departure in 2004.

A loss for local future artisans

The board of directors of Cégep de Victoriaville made the decision Monday to end the activities of the National School of Furniture and Cabinetmaking of Montreal in 2027 for financial reasons, and students are pissed. (Radio-Canada)

L’École nationale du meuble de Montréal fermera ses portes
Le Cégep de Victoriaville a pris la décision de mettre fin aux activités de son campus montréalais en 2027 pour des raisons financières.

Back on the metro beat (again)

Why is the Montreal metro not as imposing as those of other European cities of similar size, such as Cologne, Milan, Munich or even Barcelona? Several factors are involved, from the city's density to the tech the original system was built with. (24 Heures)

Photograph: Manny Fortin on Unsplash

What's holding rap québ back?

Quebec rap is relatively new compared to American hip-hop, and it has the makings of a full-fledged industry, but the province still has obvious limitations. Unable to compare to American hip-hop hotbeds like New York and Atlanta or countries like France, it's a class of its own nonetheless. (CBC Montreal)

Building Quebec’s rap scene is one thing. Taking it to the next level is another
Quebec rap has the makings of a full-fledged industry, but the province still has its limitations. Some artists feel they need to leave the province to reach their full potential.

Intergenerational bridges to dance, dance, dance 💃🏿

The Ekspresyon dance center has specialized in traditional Haitian dance since 2017, and it's one example of the traditional dances of black communities one can find in the city alongside contemporary adaptations and interpretations. (Le Devoir)

La danse dans les communautés noires, entre traditions et métamorphoses
Les danses traditionnelles sont un moyen de transmission de l’histoire et de la culture des communautés noires.

Experimenting with industrial design

Montreal designer Emile Racine can pinpoint the moment his life changed: May 22, 2021. That was the day rapper Lil Nas X wore a pair of their distinctive spiky shoes on the Season 46 finale of Saturday Night Live. (CBC Montreal)

This hyper-futuristic Montreal fashion designer is behind some of Lil Nas X’s wildest looks | CBC Arts
Emile Racine is blending spiky rave wear with clothing inspired by speed skating and 3D printing

How dare reality TV not depict real life!

The Bachelor's filmed in Montreal, but the Gazette's Bill Brownstein posits that it's incredibly under representative of what life in the city is really like, but somehow we're not surprised contestants were shown tripping over our potholes. (Montreal Gazette)

Brownstein: The Bachelor presents Montreal as you’ve never seen it, and likely never will
This is a Hollywoodized view of the city, which could have easily been shot in a studio.

Some insider baseball for you

One editor writes on the challenges of a shrinking media landscape in Montreal, and what it needs to do to survive—thought you might want to know, considering you being here might imply you like to know what's up with local media? (The Rover)

Growing The Rover in a Shrinking Media Landscape – The Rover
A letter from the editor, Christopher Curtis: office hours, partnerships, and plans for the future.

And that wraps yet another weekly bulletin. We’ll be back with more curiosities, local stories, and events to discover next week.

If ever you catch something we should know, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Instagram.